Democrats vs. Republicans

I am not exactly sure what the differences are betweeen these two. I mean I have a genearal idea but not nearly enough. How are they alike? How are they different? Can anyone compare and contrast these for me? Which one do you prefer and why?
Thanks in return.

… preferably in four sentences or less.

Democrats are the party of organized labor, Republicans are the party of wealthied interests. Got it?

That is, of course, complete nonsense.

You might find this thread useful.

I was erroneously taught that as a child. When I gained the ability to think critically, I got past that. Some people, obviously, don’t.

Essay assignment’s due tomorrow morning huh? What a bummer!

Democrats tend to be slightly more to the left of center, favoring the use of government to solve social problems. Republicans tend to be slightly more right of center, favoring a more limited governmental role.

However, there is no requirement that members of either party stick to these general philosophies.

The Democratic Party supports the election of Democrats to public office.

The Republican Party supports the election of Republicans to public office.

Flippant as this may sound, it’s really the only difference you can count on, and the major reason the two parties exist.

the real skinny behind it all, republicans want the people to control themselves, democrats want the goverment to control the people (which i think is kinda mean)

ever notice the first 4 letter in "demo"crat are the same first 4 letter in "demo"n? coincidence or not?hehe

Let’s see.

Democrats want the government to control people (tax incentives, banning tobacco). Except when they want the government out of your life (pro-choice).

Republicans want the government out of your life (low taxes). Except when they want the government to control you (pro-life).

Hm.

Democrats support “leftist” causes, Republicans support “rightist” causes. “Leftist” causes are defined as those causes which Democrats support, and “rightist” causes are those which Republicans support.

No, wait.

Democrats feel that the government works better than the market (welfare, Social Security) except on those matters where you can’t trust it (death penalty, civil liberties).

Republicans feel that you can’t trust the government (open free markets) except for those issues where the government is infaliable (death penalty, civil liberties).

Hold on.

Democrats have no consistent internal philosophy except “get Democrats elected, and screw over Republicasn”.

Republicans have no consistent internal philosophy except “get Republicans elected, and screw over Democrats”.

Yep, I think RickJay is right that that’s the only real definition.

Democrats are communists, Republicans are fascists.

Democrats think the poor are too stupid to take care of themselves, Republicans think the poor are just lazy.

Those are my favorites.

During the course of any election season, the politicians on one side of the line are looking for a way to explain to voters how they are different in a way that makes them better. Because of this ongoing rhetorical battle, the demarcation line changes over time.

I’m not an American Political History scholar, but I’m pretty sure that both parties have, at one time or another, been the party of protectionist tariffs and the party of unrestricted international trade; the party dedicated to supporting the rights of ethnic, religious, and/or cultural minorities and the party dedicated to defending the hegemony of the predominant culture/race/etc; the party supporting women’s equality and the expansion of women’s rights and the party supporting patriarchal beliefs about keeping women in their traditional place; the party supporting individual privacy from governmental interference and the party favoring restricting individual conduct to proper “moral” patterns; and so on.

DPWhite wrote

This probably persists because there hasn’t been a distinct time when the Democrats aimed their appeal towards the wealthied interests while Republicans focused on organized labor, but wait for it.

In the last 20 years, an old chestnut about the Democrats being the party that taxes and spends and increases the debt (on programs for the the poor, but also on the salaries of bureaucrats who run the programs) while the Republicans cut taxes, spend little, and focus on fiscal responsibility has lost a lot of its explanatory persuasiveness. The Democrats have managed a bit of an image change in the rhetoric wars (benefitting from a good economy that coincided with Clinton’s terms, following years of bad economies in Republican-headed years in which deficit spending was rampant). Republicans’ current regional support is not among financiers and capitalists but small-town and rural Americans, whose reasons for voting Republican probably have a lot more to do with social conservatism than the interests of the landed gentry. One Republican candidate (a fringe candidate, to be sure), Pat Robertson, cast the Democrats as the party of big international business from which the lower middle class American worker needed protection in the form of tariffs and domestic incentives. If these trends were to define the Republican party more and more, while the Democrats build on the fiscal-responsibility and free-trade legacy and don’t do enough to defend the economically downtrodden as their electoral territory, you might indeed see political cartoons depicting Democratic donkeys in expensive business suits opposing blue-collar Republican elephants holding lunch pails with American flags pasted on them.

Amusingly, Rick, Walter Karp argues that you can’t even count on that. :slight_smile:

Guys, the moderator asked for a summary. And having a degree in the subject, and being an elected Democrat (my county central committee) I know what I am talking about. I also have access to FEC and FPPC (California’s FEC) filings to see where the money comes from. (Incidentally, I meant “monied” not “wealthied”.)

The largest contributors to Democratic causes and most of the volunteer work is performed by members of local unions affiliated with the AFL-CIO. This is not a close call guys. Yes, women’s interest groups are important as well as other speciality groups, but labor is key for Democrats.

Republicans are currently controlled lock, stock and barrel by big oil, see GWBush and Dick Cheney, et al. Their major donors consist of two categories: wealthy management types (think Forbes) and the religious right, people like Falwell and Robertson, who are their second biggest constituency.

Senor, out of the mouths of babes. What can I say?

Don’t let anyone tell you that there are no differences between the parties, there are differences that are important to you.

OK, let’s look at a few actual issues. For the most part, democrats want abortion to be legal; republicans want it to be illegal. Democrats support stronger gun control, republicans don’t. Republicans are usually more inclined towards mainstream religions than democrats. Democrats will usually advocate higher taxes and higher government spending, while republicans will usually want both lower. Republicans tend to support a stronger military than democrats.

These are, of course, only generalizations, not absolute rules. It’s quite possible, for instance, for a person to be opposed to abortion, and yet count himself a democrat due to the party’s social policies.

Apparently, the main difference is that Democrats are too blinded by partisanship to remember to follow forum rules, whereas Republicans are too blinded by partisanship to remember to follow forum rules.

This thread is closed.